I was sitting in the back of a Chicago cab discussing business with Ray Rach. Upon overhearing our conversation, John, the cab driver, interrupted and began telling us his experiences with real estate.
It seems he had bought a house a few years ago and resold it for about $100,000 in profit. He was so proud of his accomplishment he took his new-found wealth and opened a restaurant. After about one year in business he not only lost all his money, but some other funds he had borrowed from his family.
His story was a sad, but not uncommon one; the story of a man who had tried and failed and quit for life, content with a meager living at something difficult to fail at.
After hearing this, Ray asked him, “John, if you made a hundred grand on one deal the first time, why didn't you just keep doing that instead of opening a restaurant?”
John's reply was, “Well, we made the money on the house sort of by accident. We really didn't know what we were doing. We just bought a house at what we thought was a good price, did a little work on it and two years later someone offered us $100,000 more than we had in it, so we sold.”
Ray said, “So what made you buy a restaurant?” John replied, “Oh, it's just something we always thought we wanted to do.” “Well John, after your restaurant venture failed, why didn't you go out, buy another house and do it again?”
John's answer is a classic we hear so much . . . “Because we didn't have any money!”
Ray immediately shot back with, “Would you do it today if you were shown how without using any of your own money or credit?”
“Sure I would, but how can you buy real estate with no money?”
“John, you happen to be chauffeuring the best qualified man in America to teach you that. We're doing a seminar tomorrow at the hotel where you're dropping us off. If you want to come learn how, we'll comp you to this event, can you make it?”
“Oh, I'd love to but I've got two fares I have to pick up during the day and I need the money so I don't want to miss them.”
“So John, what can you expect to make tomorrow if you pick up both those fares and all the others you could get during the 8 hours of the seminar?”
“Well, I think I could knock down about a hundred bucks.”
“So, you're saying you'd rather take the hundred bucks than come learn how to get out of this cab and get back in the chips?”
About this time I heard all I could stand and had to put in my two cents worth. I said, “John, this man just offered you a rare opportunity to come learn how to make a good living on purpose doing the same thing you've already done by accident. He offered to pay your way, which saves you $49. You told him you'd love to learn how to buy real estate without money, you hated driving a cab and you're sick of being broke. Yet, when you're given an opportunity to change all this, you passed it by for a hundred bucks you may or may not even collect!”
His reply was, “Yeah, it does sound like a good opportunity, but I have to check with my wife first.”
About that time I had heard all the excuses I could handle and snapped back at John, “No, that won't be necessary John, because I've just revoked your free pass. If you want to come it will cost you the same $49 it costs everyone else in the room. However, I'll give you one more chance to get out of this cab for life. I have a brand new book that will show you how to buy real estate without money. If you wish, I'll send you this book, which sells for $24.95, in lieu of your tip. What do you think?”
I think you can guess his answer — he politely declined my offer.
After that Ray and I didn't say another word to John. We just shook our heads in disgust. Five years from now John will probably be doing the same thing he's doing now. That's if someone hasn't shot him or beaten him to death for crack money.
So, what can we learn from our episode in the cab? Actually, there are several lessons hidden in this story. The first lesson, the one Ray and I have the hardest time dealing with is:
As hard as we tried, we couldn't convince John that a past failure in life is no excuse to give up and not try again. We put opportunity right in John's path and he chose to step over it. A small decision he made that night will probably affect him for the rest of his life.
Unfortunately, he won't realize what he's lost because people rarely get upset about missing unseen opportunities. It's always easier to do nothing than to take a risk where you might fail. No one wants to fail, but some people, like John, are so afraid of it they'd rather not try at all.
How about you? Are you so afraid of failure you freeze up when opportunity presents itself? When opportunity knocks do you turn up the remote control so you can't hear it?
Some people say, “All I need is a break. Just give me a chance and I'll show you!” Well, I don't want to ruffle any feathers here, but as far as I'm concerned, that's a load of crap! It's an excuse to sit around feeling sorry for yourself. People make their own breaks. If you're waiting for a break, all you'll get is what's left over by those who hustle.
The Best Way To Predict
Your Future Is To Create It
Failure is nothing more than a learning experience and should not be used as a crutch. A second lesson we could learn from John is to dance with the one who brings us to the party.
John made $100,000 on one house and then decided that's not the way he should be getting rich. He didn't succeed because he didn't know how to repeat what he had accomplished and didn't take the time or trouble to investigate. Instead, he plunged into another business not knowing any more about it than he did about real estate. Opportunity is all around us but we're so busy walking over the dollars to get to the dimes we can't see it.
I frequently talk to people who previously made serious money with real estate but, after some kind of unforeseen problem, quit doing what was working. You can't quit and you can't let a bad experience from the past stop you from making your future more prosperous.
You Must Learn From The Mistakes Of Others –
You Can't Possibly Live Long Enough To Make Them All Yourself!
All the excuses in the world will not justify lack of action. You can lie to yourself, your family and your friends, but you can't lie to me. If it's not happening for you, there is only one reason . . . you won't let it. If you fail, it's your fault and yours alone. Not your spouse's, not your parents' or children's, and it's not because of your age.
The Enemy Is Here….It Is Us.
Sometimes we simply have to turn and face the tiger. Find out what the biggest roadblock to financial freedom is in your life and knock it down. If you don't, you'll go to your grave wondering what could have been. You'll die of the “If-Ida” disease. “If-Ida” just got started when I had the chance. “If-Ida” spent more time playing to win instead of playing not to lose. “If-Ida” thought enough of my family to quit feeling sorry for myself. “If-Ida” listened more, talked less and not been such a die-hard skeptic. “If-Ida” spent more time planning my future than I did my vacations.
I was watching Dr. Robert Schuller on TV last Sunday and he said something so powerful I instantly sprang to my feet and wrote it down:
Only You Can Sign The Death Warrant On Your Dreams
Yes, it's an awesome power you've been granted. The power to succeed and the power to fail. The choice is yours and only yours. What will you do with it?
All People Are Self Made.
Only Successful People Admit It.
There's nothing I like more than receiving letters and faxes from the many students who've come to realize the power within themselves and taken positive action. Keep them coming.
Don't be like John and spend the rest of your life in survival mode. Within the next 24 hours I challenge you to do something, anything, that advances you towards your first or your next deal. Go make a mess, make mistakes, make an offer, upset a REALTOR, talk to a seller, write a contract, call on an ad, listen to my tapes…. anything that creates movement. Whatever you do, keep away from negative-thinking morons. If you're not progressing, could it be due to the people you're hanging around with? If so, my suggestion is to jettison them immediately. Not when it's convenient, but right now. Look, I know it won't be easy, but neither is getting rich. When I began in this business I was faced with the same problem: Listen to the morons or do what my heart told me was right. I chose the latter and I've never looked back.
Now, many of those people I was so worried about are in the real estate business. It didn't take them long to quit criticizing me and start inquiring about what I was doing. And it didn't take me long to learn . . .
“It Doesn't Matter What The Morons Say!”
Well, I hope John the cab driver finds success before the end of his life. Somehow, I don't think he will. Some people just slam the door on opportunity and weld it shut. Don't let this happen to you. If you're reading this, it means you've reached out and you're willing to listen or you wouldn't be reading this.
Keep plugging away until you've made all your friends and family green with envy and all your money worries are recent history.